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I've been doing research for the last several years about High-Fire operations for smaller departments like mine (That's a relative term mind you, we have about 220 on duty each day. I mean small compared to FDNY, HFD, CFD and the other bohemeths)

I noticed while I was doing my research that Storz couplings started showing up on our FDC's (Fire Department Connections i.e. Standpipe connections) on buildings of all heights. We currently carry 4" line with Storz couplings for supply line. Our code division thought it would be helpful and make for a simpler connection. Nice thought on their part but I realized a problem. Stamped on the hose was "NFPA 1963 Supply Line."

You may say at this point, "so what?"

Well that configuration of hose and coupling (LDH hose with Storz couplings) is only to be operated at 180 psi and tested at 200 psi. Still saying so what? Let me continue.

Several of our buildings are tall enough to require pressures greater then 200 psi to supply the heighest pressure needed and some over 300 psi. Do you know see my concern?

At first I was being told that it was because we bought cheap hose, which very well could have been the case but then I ran into the "hose" guy. He told me the weakness stemmed from the Storz couplings and not necessarily the hose. I was intriqued! He went on to explain to me that the locking ears on the coupling are the weak link in chain. This made sense to me because of my background in rope rescue. Yes, I said rope rescue, just follow me.

Anyone who has sat through many rope classes has been told that if an aluminum caribiner is dropped from a significant height, the caribiner may have developed micro-cracks and may be unsafe to use. So with that information lets look back to our aluminum Strorz couplings that get "dropped" out of hose beds over the years and who has ever heard the clanging of a Storz being drug up the street when the hose is being loaded?

When hose and couplings are new they are tested to a certain pressure before it passes and gets the NFPA stamp. These pressures are much greater then the normal use pressure the hose and couplings will operate at in the field to allow for the abuse the hose and couplings will take over the years. This margin of "abuse" keeps us from blowing hoses as frequently. Now, with that being said, how many of us have experienced hose failures at the normal operating and test pressures?

My point to writing all of that is to emphasis to the reader that we should not pressure hose higher then the recommended levels.

So let me finally get to the discussion points:

Do you have Storz FDC's on buildings that could require pressures higher then 180 psi?

If you do, have you researched the problem I have posed here? If so, what did you find out?

Views: 855

Replies to This Discussion

We dont use Storz fittings. Besides the pressure issue what do you do when you can't use the FDC and have to supply the system through the first floor outlet? The Storz doesn't match that fitting.
Excellent point my yankee guru friend. We do carry some 3" but not nearly enough.
Mike- Tony and I have discussed this very problem in our district and kicked around the idea of placing a Storz to 2 1/2 gated wye on the FDC. This allows us to pump two 3" lines to the FDC at higher pressures if needed. GPM is still sacrificed but should be a mute point with SB nozzles. Another connection problem we recently discovered is with some of our sprinkler connections at a new apartment complex. All of the FDC's for the sprinklers are 1 1/2" connections. The code guys were brilliant with this one.

And yes, you can pump into the first floor outlet with a Storz but it looks like a Frankenstein attachment and places alot of pressure on the outlet and piping. A 45 degree 2 1/2 to a storz fitting from the standpipe to the supply line will fit but has to be thought out for the proper adaptors. It is by no means the most effecient but will work in a pinch. I can't see a big advantage using the 4" hose if the piping in the standpipe is not greater than 3". I still prefer 3" hose for supply line to FDC's.
If the building's height does not require you to pump over 180 psi, the 4" Storz is okay. The 1 1/2" to the apartments, I know nothing about. Guess they figured the fire load of an all wood structure full of furniture, common cocklofts, lightweight construction, oh let's not forget maybe as tall as 4 stories now, didn't need that much water.........
An interesting conversation I had with some of our folks the other day. They called a hose manufacture and spoke to an all knowing salesman. The salesman confidently told my people that the Storz coupling was more than strong enough to take the pressures for standpipe operations. He went on to tell them that they are tested up to 1100 psi and so on and so forth.

This caused the guys to wonder if I had lost my mind with what I've been teaching so they called me and went through the salesperson's schpill. I asked them to call the all knowing, all wise, omnipent seller of hose and have him put it in writing on the companies letterhead. Still waiting for that letter....

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